Dear Fellow Unitarians,
Have you ever wondered how you can make a tiny bit of a difference (or a big one) without feeling that you are paying more for the administration of the charity than to the actual cause? Well, we are here to help. One of the goals of the social action committee is to sort through the myriad of good causes and make a few suggestions that you can act on.
The goal of this newsletter thus is to provide you with the links of such causes, so that all you need is to bookmark the document and whenever you feel the spirit of giving or acting coming on, all you need to do is to click on a certain link to see whether it “speaks to you” enough to become involved.
It would be great if we could make this a living document. How? Whenever you gain first-hand knowledge (this is important, otherwise it will defeat the purpose) of a cause near and dear to your heart, please pass it on to me with a brief explanation a) how you learned about it and b) to which extent you are familiar with it. We can then start a series of limited newsletters to provide new causes you can support individually, or eventually as a congregation.
Without further ado, here is the shortlist of charitable causes we have identified:
The Giraffe Project is providing schooling and nutrition for hundreds of students in the slums of Nairobi. Go to the link www.giraffeproject.org to check out what they do. For 27 Euros a month you can sponsor a child and give him or her a chance for a better future.
This project has been in existence for 5 years now and is extraordinarily successful, providing a chance to hundreds of children to live a live in dignity and hopefully contribute to a better future of Kenya.
ARZU - http://www.arzustudiohope.org/home . ARZU, which means “hope” in Dari, is an innovative model of social entrepreneurship that helps Afghan women weavers and their families break the cycle of poverty by providing them steady income and access to education and healthcare by sourcing and selling the rugs they weave.
While structured as a 501(c)(3) in the United States and an international NGO in Afghanistan, ARZU operates as a “for-benefit” corporation, using private sector practices to create jobs in desperately poor rural villages where little opportunity exists.
Again in Afghanistan, Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation, http://www.raziasrayofhope.org is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and children in Afghanistan through community-based education. Founded with the belief that education is key to positive, peaceful change for current and future generations, the foundation strives to provide opportunities to learn and grow in a safe, nurturing environment.
Razia's Ray of Hope has been awarded a $45,000 grant from the Khaled Hosseini Foundation. This grant will fund tuition, books, and teacher salaries at the Zabuli Education Center.
Tribute to Bambi, a German organization supporting a myriad of foundations to help children with special needs (amputees, cancer, rare diseases, etc.). Every cent goes to these foundations and is put to use for special equipment, housing near hospitals for parents whose little ones are undergoing cancer treatments; research for rare diseases and moral support for those children who suffer from them). Check out this link to learn more: www.tributetobambi-stiftung.de. It is in German.
Khasi Hills and others. To see how and whether you’d like to become involved in a project that our very own Vicki and Scott Roberts-Gassler have been actively supporting, go to the link of the Unitarian Universalist Partnership Council. http://www.uupcc.org and search for Khasi Hills.
Feel free to contact Vicki Roberts-Gassler and Scott Gassler for any first-hand information you may wish if you are interested in the project. (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)
Finally, check out www.aavaz.org, a new global online advocacy community that brings people-powered politics to global decision-making and is becoming the largest global web movement in history.
For example, thanks in part to Aavaz.org, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, an Iranian woman, was saved by global protests from being stoned to death. But she may still be hanged -- and, meanwhile, execution by stoning continues. Right now fifteen more people are on death row awaiting stoning in which victims are buried up to their necks in the ground and then large rocks are thrown at their heads. By signing on to Aavaz and petitioning, these deaths may be averted.
In the next issue:
The next newsletter will address issues surrounding our food production.
For a quick preview: Click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7Id9caYw-Y
EUU Social Action Committee Chair